Call him Harlem’s new promising rapper, Pretty Flacko or just the $3 million record deal rapper; A$AP Rocky finally released his long awaited album, Long.Live.A$AP.
It might have happened over night; at only 24 years old, A$AP’s quick rise to fame is a force to be reckoned with: from being opening acts for both Drake and Rihanna to having a debut album with songs produced by Skrillex and Hit-Boy, New York’s Bittersweet Symphony has never become more true than in A$AP’s own words: “Living life so fast I feel like kids/And I’m blowing up fast so I feel like BIG“.
As of now, if people who don’t know about A$AP Rocky, it is probably attributed to the fact that they have never listened to “F***in’ Problems” on the radio, which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 4. It’s been a while since I’ve been following A$AP Rocky’s career, for me, it all started when he made the list for BBC’s Sound of 2012.
A$AP showed promise since the release of his critically acclaimed mixtape Live.Love.A$AP, which had the songs “Peso” and “Purple Swag” that generated a lot of buzz and finally landed him and his crew (A$AP Mob) a deal with Sony, RCA Records and Polo Grounds Music.
The album starts off with “Long Live A$AP”, the introductory self-titled song for the record, A$AP talks about the poverty he had to live through, his ambition, his homage to Memphis and Texas rap, and out of nowhere for the hook of the song we’re greeted with A$AP’s singing about his music living forever. At the moment, besides Kanye West, I believe A$AP Rocky will follow his footsteps into fashion; it could be found in almost each song a line about a famous fashion designer, better exposed in “Fashion Killa.”
One of the surprises of the album was undoubtedly “Wild For The Night,” which starts off with chopped-and-screwed verses until it goes back to A$AP rapping over a Skrillex dubstep beat; who knew these two genres could actually work together? I’ve never been a huge fan of dubstep, but I am pleased that this song isn’t off putting by any means. If anything, it is a great collaboration. Furthermore, talking about collabs, I loved A$AP and Santigold in “Hell,” as well as “I Come Apart” with Florence Welch. However, the best collaboration of the album has to go “1Train” with Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Big K.R.I.T.
In a mostly upbeat songs environment, “Phoenix” is a gem in the album:
Kurt Cobain even died cause you scrutinized
It’s a fine line between truth and lies
Jesus Christ never lied, still was crucified
That’s why I never judge another ni**a
The album, or more like A$AP Rocky’s career, can be summed up in the soulful “Suddenly.” It might have happened overnight, faster than anyone expected, and Long.Live.A$AP is a statement that Rocky is here to stay. Although there is still room for improvement for a more cohesive album, his efforts do not go unrecognized: from the tunes to the chopped-and-screwed to the amazing collaborations, Long.Live.A$AP mostly lives to the hype, and now we know that he is totally worth the money.